If you are wondering how to keep mosquitoes out of your bird bath, we have tips to conquer your yard. Take back those beloved bird baths from the menacing mosquitoes, which can breed thousands more mosquitoes in your water features!
This may be surprising to read, but one of the most effective mosquito control tips is to simply eliminate standing water from your property. This seems like a relatively simple step – keep your gutters clean, turn over buckets or trash cans, and empty water from tires, wheelbarrows, and pots. But what about a bird bath or fountain? Many homeowners love observing the beautiful array of birds that flock to these baths in the warmer months, but the stagnant water can also be prime breeding territory for mosquitoes. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can keep mosquitoes away while still allowing birds to enjoy your bird bath.
Change the Water Regularly
It takes 7 to 10 days for a mosquito to mature from an egg to an adult. So, if you empty and replace the water in your bird bath at least every five days, mosquitoes will not be able to complete their life cycle. Freshwater is also healthier for the birds who visit the bath as well! To avoid wasting water, use the old bird bath water to hydrate garden plants.
Add an Agitator or Aerator
Mosquitoes choose bird baths to breed because it is an excellent source of still water, which they require to lay eggs. Agitating or aerating the water breaks the surface tension and prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs in fountains or birth baths. An agitator like the Water Wiggler or a small waterfall feature will keep the water moving so that mosquitoes can’t use your bird bath as a breeding ground. The sound of splashing water will also entice more birds.
Treat the Water
While you shouldn’t use a chemical insecticide in your birdbath, you can treat it with a bacterial insecticide, which kills mosquitoes but is not harmful to birds or other wildlife. These are typically sold as dunks at garden centers. Look for products that contain the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI). These treatments can only control mosquitoes for up to 30 days, so it’s not a long term solution. Adding an agitator or aerator is a more permanent fix.
Conserve Natural Habitat
Natural predators like bats, dragonflies, and fish can help with mosquito control. These organisms voraciously feed on adult mosquitoes and larva. So, keeping natural habitat and waterways healthy is a great way to keep mosquito populations in check. Support conservation efforts in your neighborhood or at your local parks to protect the environment and fight the bite at the same time.
Don’t forget about the rest of your yard
Your birdbath is likely just one small part of the mosquito problem in your yard. To reduce mosquito populations (which will in turn help keep them out of your outdoor water features), focus on the rest of your yard, too. Eliminate standing water wherever you can, and follow the previous suggestions to prevent breeding in any other permanent water features you may have in your yard.